Vomiting & strange litter box behavior

BeccaT

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I've been spiraling for the past few hours because our youngest (1 year old) cat Annie, seems to be sick.

So as a bit of prior information, I've been concerned about her for maybe a week or longer. She suddenly had an increased appetite, wasn't necessarily overeating but seemed hungrier than usual. She's also been crying at the bedroom door at night and in the morning more often, and started to stick her whole arm under the door and pull which rattles the door and disturbs our sleep, and the paw action is new behavior for her. Other than this, her litter box habits, drinking and play time seemed completely normal. But I'm unsure if any of this is related.

As for today, it started this morning. She didn't eat her breakfast like she usually does. I put this down to maybe her still being full from the night before as I decided to give her and our other cat more food, but they didn't eat all of it as I ended up sitting with them for a bit when the pawing at the door started. I also saw her hop out of the litter box after using it and she didn't cover her pee, which she usually always does. Again, I put this down to her maybe being excited to get her breakfast as I didn't realise she was in the box when I started to serve their food. She seemed sleepier than usual, sleeping during hours she's usually whining at me to play with her, but we let her sleep.

Then about an hour ago, after me successfully engaging her in some light play with a wand toy, she hopped down from the bed where I was playing with her and threw up. There wasn't much, and it was liquidy and brown with what I thought was a pink tint to it when I brought it into the light. About 30 minutes after that, she sat in the middle of the floor seeming sleepy and she eventually curled her feet under herself and laid down. I was watching her the whole time during this. I then decided to leave the room for a moment and heard her throw up again, and it was the same kind of brown liquid, but much less and with more of a pink tint to it. I also want to note that in between her different vomiting moments, she went to use the bathroom and yet again didn't cover her pee. There was quite a lot of it considering she hasn't been drinking much all day, and it had a stronger smell to it. Not a smell I can describe but her pee usually doesn't smell at all, but that's likely because she usually covers it.

She hasn't thrown up since but hasn't been able to settle. She still looks kind of "out of it", she doesn't look like she's stumbling or dizzy but I can definitely tell she's not feeling well. She's wandering around the house and not sitting or lying down for too long. She hasn't drank and won't eat her wet dinner. She'll somewhat engage in her toys when I try to play with her, her tail will twitch and her eyes get big as if she's interested but she won't physically engage and I'm not trying to push her, but at least she's still somewhat interested.

I also wanted to mention that we do have a second cat who is a bit older than her who is not exhibiting any of this behavior or these symptoms, she seems totally fine. Annie does have a history of having a sensitive stomach, it took us a long time to find a dry food that didn't give her diarrhea but we eventually found one and haven't changed her diet since. We've not fed her anything different than usual, we don't think there's anything she could've gotten into but it's not something we're ruling out.

I decided to post here because I've expressed all of this to my husband who is also worried about her, but when I mentioned the emergency vet because of the pink in her vomit (all regular vets close at 5 here, so it's too late to go to one of those) he said it wasn't that important yet and isn't willing to spend however much it would cost to take her to an emergency vet, and I'm not able to drive to take her anywhere myself.

I'm just stressing out because of her history of having stomach problems, and I've never seen her vomit more than once in a day. I plan on sleeping in the living room with her tonight to keep an eye on her and hopefully my husband will be more willing to take her to the vet tomorrow if she hasn't improved, but if she doesn't eat or drink all day, and keeps throwing up, I don't know what to do or how to help her.
 
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FeebysOwner

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Hi. The 'hungrier than usual' and crying at the door at night could be related to her not wanting to eat what you leave out for her in the evening. Then by morning, stomach acid has built up and is causing her to feel nauseous and might be responsible for her throwing up after eating a bit. This all sounds feasible since she has a sensitive stomach to begin with. There could have even been a change in the food formulas that is affecting her. And some cats will tend to shy away from food if they think that is what making them feel bad. Try changing up her food routines and making sure she gets something she wants to eat late at night to help tide her over until morning.

You can always take some vomit into the vet, and they can quickly test it for blood if that is what you think the pink tint is. Just call them ahead of time and make sure your vet is one that will do this. If you can't get it in right away, I believe it will 'stay' good enough to test by placing it in the refrigerator for a few hours.

I'm not sure the peeing thing, with her not covering up her litter, is necessarily related. It may be purely coincidental. For now, I would place that on the 'back burner' unless she starts to pee outside of the litter box.
 
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BeccaT

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Hi
This is tough. Can you try giving her some Pedialyte? It will help with a little energy;

Pedialtye.
I will take a look at this, thank you.
Hi. The 'hungrier than usual' and crying at the door at night could be related to her not wanting to eat what you leave out for her in the evening. Then by morning, stomach acid has built up and is causing her to feel nauseous and might be responsible for her throwing up after eating a bit. This all sounds feasible since she has a sensitive stomach to begin with. There could have even been a change in the food formulas that is affecting her. And some cats will tend to shy away from food if they think that is what making them feel bad. Try changing up her food routines and making sure she gets something she wants to eat late at night to help tide her over until morning.

You can always take some vomit into the vet, and they can quickly test it for blood if that is what you think the pink tint is. Just call them ahead of time and make sure your vet is one that will do this. If you can't get it in right away, I believe it will 'stay' good enough to test by placing it in the refrigerator for a few hours.
Thank you for the response. She did eat last night, if anything she ate her own and then our other cat's food but it was slower and over time. My husband thought it might be that maybe she ate too much but in the past when one of them has eaten too fast/much, they usually go back to their normal selves after vomiting. I'll try my best to give her some food though.

I'll also try to gather some of her vomit somehow, it'll just be tough as a majority of our house is carpet and I was quick enough the first time to throw a towel down before she threw up. I'll be happy if the peeing thing is unrelated and that she's just not covering it because she's not feeling 100% in herself and isn't directly related, I just thought it was worth mentioning as it's unusual for her.

Edit: I also just tried a different way of feeding her and it seems she's somewhat willing to eat very small amount of her pate food off my finger, so she is trying to eat it seems. We only usually feed them both 1 wet meal in the middle of the day and then kibble other times.

edit 2: she just ate a small amount of dry food without issue. Still trying to encourage her to drink and will keep watching her but I’m happy to see she’s eaten something, hoping she’ll keep it down.
 
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daftcat75

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The pink tint is very likely blood. It’s probably not an emergency right now. Cats’ esophagus can get irritated by stomach acid from vomiting and it’s not unheard of to see a little pink. I would consider it an emergency if she keeps vomiting throughout the night.

Normally a vomit protocol is to withhold food and water for six to twelve hours (depending on how sensitive her stomach really is) and then reintroduce food slowly. My Betty when she has a hairball, it’s an all day affair for her. She usually needs closer to eight hours away from food to recover. Any food or water she drinks before this time is simply coming back up because her stomach is still in spasm. When it’s time to reintroduce food, she gets 1/4 portions to start. If she keeps that down, she may get a half portion at her next meal. It could take a few meals to get her back to full portions.

I would plan on calling your vet in the morning if her appetite is still off or she vomits again. The litterbox behavior may be nothing. Or it may very well be related such as an infection. That’s why I would plan on a vet visit if something still seems off tomorrow.
 
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BeccaT

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The pink tint is very likely blood. It’s probably not an emergency right now. Cats’ esophagus can get irritated by stomach acid from vomiting and it’s not unheard of to see a little pink. I would consider it an emergency if she keeps vomiting throughout the night.

Normally a vomit protocol is to withhold food and water for six to twelve hours (depending on how sensitive her stomach really is) and then reintroduce food slowly. My Betty when she has a hairball, it’s an all day affair for her. She usually needs closer to eight hours away from food to recover. Any food or water she drinks before this time is simply coming back up because her stomach is still in spasm. When it’s time to reintroduce food, she gets 1/4 portions to start. If she keeps that down, she may get a half portion at her next meal. It could take a few meals to get her back to full portions.

I would plan on calling your vet in the morning if her appetite is still off or she vomits again. The litterbox behavior may be nothing. Or it may very well be related such as an infection. That’s why I would plan on a vet visit if something still seems off tomorrow.
Thank you very much for this information, it's very reassuring. I'm just glad to know that the colour wasn't an immediate concern unless it was persistent. I think it was a good few hours until she ate any food and I let her start off slow, and she seemed to take it slow herself.

I wanted to give an update as it seems she's back to her normal self. She didn't throw up any more than those 2 times, she eventually ended up sleeping for a good few hours and then came to me with her "happy tail" and making her sweet noises again to greet me. She went sniffing around her food bowl so I gave her a small amount of dry food and she seemed totally fine, chasing after our other cat again and being her sweet self. As for the litter box, I haven't been able to observe her use it yet. My concern is that I have no idea what caused it so that I can avoid it in the future. At least the last time she was unwell, we knew it was the food and eventually found the right one. I don't think this is the food entirely as it's not changed one bit, unless the cat of wet food I fed her the day before was maybe a bad batch, but it didn't affect our other cat and they eat the same food.

I'm not sure if this is a silly idea but I was wondering if bugs could be a factor? Both of my cats are fully indoor but sometimes bugs get into the house, mostly harmless little gnat flies that they like to watch fly around and paw at, but sometimes it's other bugs and I've noticed them playing with them on the floor or by the windows and wondering if Annie may have eaten one that upset her stomach. Other than that, I have no idea what it could be.
 
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BeccaT

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If she ate one, it could have an effect, I don't know how much though.
Yeah, this is what I'm unsure of. If this was the cause, I just hope she doesn't eat any more in the future as it's tough to monitor what bugs get in the house.

Brief update on the litter box situation, she's still not covering her pee and it still has a smell. I don't see any blood in it and the smell could still be because it's not being covered. I plan on cleaning it tomorrow anyway as it is a bit dirty (still figuring out this litter robot!) and perhaps that could be it? She seems fine otherwise and I certainly will just continue to monitor her. Thank you everyone for the advice, posting here and receiving replies always puts my anxiety-riddled brain at ease. :)
 
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BeccaT

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Wanted to post another update as she hasn't thrown up since, but it seems she's still not covering her pee, but she's covering her poops. I cleaned out the litter box, fresh new litter and everything. She's eating okay, playing okay, doesn't seem lethargic but I'm not fully convinced she's drinking enough (she's eating her afternoon wet food though) and overall she just seems.. quieter? It's hard to fully put it into words but I'm still not convinced she's her usual self, and my husband agrees but sadly I don't think this behavior alone is enough to convince my husband to take her to the vet.
 

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BeccaT

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Maybe she isn't peeing as much and that is why she feels no need to cover it up? Do you have multiple water dishes around the house for her? If not try that. You can also try bottled water, or distilled water, maybe even a water fountain.
Tips To Increase Your Cat’s Water Intake – TheCatSite Articles
How To Choose The Best Water Fountain For Your Cat – TheCatSite Articles
Thank you, I think we have about 5 different sources of water around the house for them to drink from, and we give them purified water only. I do want to get a water fountain one day but the only one we owned was not very good or easy to clean so I've been hesitant, but hopefully the article you linked will help me find the right one!
 

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I've been spiraling for the past few hours because our youngest (1 year old) cat Annie, seems to be sick.

So as a bit of prior information, I've been concerned about her for maybe a week or longer. She suddenly had an increased appetite, wasn't necessarily overeating but seemed hungrier than usual. She's also been crying at the bedroom door at night and in the morning more often, and started to stick her whole arm under the door and pull which rattles the door and disturbs our sleep, and the paw action is new behavior for her. Other than this, her litter box habits, drinking and play time seemed completely normal. But I'm unsure if any of this is related.

As for today, it started this morning. She didn't eat her breakfast like she usually does. I put this down to maybe her still being full from the night before as I decided to give her and our other cat more food, but they didn't eat all of it as I ended up sitting with them for a bit when the pawing at the door started. I also saw her hop out of the litter box after using it and she didn't cover her pee, which she usually always does. Again, I put this down to her maybe being excited to get her breakfast as I didn't realise she was in the box when I started to serve their food. She seemed sleepier than usual, sleeping during hours she's usually whining at me to play with her, but we let her sleep.

Then about an hour ago, after me successfully engaging her in some light play with a wand toy, she hopped down from the bed where I was playing with her and threw up. There wasn't much, and it was liquidy and brown with what I thought was a pink tint to it when I brought it into the light. About 30 minutes after that, she sat in the middle of the floor seeming sleepy and she eventually curled her feet under herself and laid down. I was watching her the whole time during this. I then decided to leave the room for a moment and heard her throw up again, and it was the same kind of brown liquid, but much less and with more of a pink tint to it. I also want to note that in between her different vomiting moments, she went to use the bathroom and yet again didn't cover her pee. There was quite a lot of it considering she hasn't been drinking much all day, and it had a stronger smell to it. Not a smell I can describe but her pee usually doesn't smell at all, but that's likely because she usually covers it.

She hasn't thrown up since but hasn't been able to settle. She still looks kind of "out of it", she doesn't look like she's stumbling or dizzy but I can definitely tell she's not feeling well. She's wandering around the house and not sitting or lying down for too long. She hasn't drank and won't eat her wet dinner. She'll somewhat engage in her toys when I try to play with her, her tail will twitch and her eyes get big as if she's interested but she won't physically engage and I'm not trying to push her, but at least she's still somewhat interested.

I also wanted to mention that we do have a second cat who is a bit older than her who is not exhibiting any of this behavior or these symptoms, she seems totally fine. Annie does have a history of having a sensitive stomach, it took us a long time to find a dry food that didn't give her diarrhea but we eventually found one and haven't changed her diet since. We've not fed her anything different than usual, we don't think there's anything she could've gotten into but it's not something we're ruling out.

I decided to post here because I've expressed all of this to my husband who is also worried about her, but when I mentioned the emergency vet because of the pink in her vomit (all regular vets close at 5 here, so it's too late to go to one of those) he said it wasn't that important yet and isn't willing to spend however much it would cost to take her to an emergency vet, and I'm not able to drive to take her anywhere myself.

I'm just stressing out because of her history of having stomach problems, and I've never seen her vomit more than once in a day. I plan on sleeping in the living room with her tonight to keep an eye on her and hopefully my husband will be more willing to take her to the vet tomorrow if she hasn't improved, but if she doesn't eat or drink all day, and keeps throwing up, I don't know what to do or how to help her.
Hi I’m sorry about your cat seems odd not sure my cat did something similar to this when he got a blockage in his intestines, but I’m concerned about the puke being kind of pinkish, how long is your cats fur? Because honestly any cat can have a hair blockage in their intestines, like I said my cat had the same thing happen he was fine eating good but then one day he just stopped eating and always was going to the bathroom started sleeping a lot, and one day just disappeared, but I did find him and we took him to the vet they did some scans and found a huge hair blockage. The only thing that I’m confused about is the puke if it didn’t look like there what any hair in it then it might be something different. What testing has your cat had? I would say take her to the vet get some scans on her stomach, just to make sure it’s not something really bad. Hope this helps sorry about your cat hope she gets better. God Bless 😢😔
 
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BeccaT

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Hi I’m sorry about your cat seems odd not sure my cat did something similar to this when he got a blockage in his intestines, but I’m concerned about the puke being kind of pinkish, how long is your cats fur? Because honestly any cat can have a hair blockage in their intestines, like I said my cat had the same thing happen he was fine eating good but then one day he just stopped eating and always was going to the bathroom started sleeping a lot, and one day just disappeared, but I did find him and we took him to the vet they did some scans and found a huge hair blockage. The only thing that I’m confused about is the puke if it didn’t look like there what any hair in it then it might be something different. What testing has your cat had? I would say take her to the vet get some scans on her stomach, just to make sure it’s not something really bad. Hope this helps sorry about your cat hope she gets better. God Bless 😢😔
She seems to be doing good now thankfully and hasn't vomited or anything since I made this post. She's a short hair and I have had concerns of her having hairballs and coughing as she does sometimes cough after drinking, and about a week ago she had random coughing fits without even drinking but they seem to have stopped now thankfully. I tried to give them some cat grass as I've read that helps with digestion, but they had zero interest in it. I plan on picking up some fruit from the shop that I've read aids with digestion and is good to give as a treat, such as: Apple, carrot, pumpkin and cucumber. Please correct me if I'm wrong on any of these aiding digestion!

The only concern I still have is that she still seems hungrier than usual, but she doesn't seem to be gaining or losing weight. She's 100% fine in every other way now, she drinks enough, uses the bathroom fine and sleeps normally and not too much and is very happy to play. I'm concerned it could be worms but I can't see anything around her bum (our other cat had worms when we first adopted her, and I thought it was just litter but the vet told me they were worms and they were very visible so thankfully I know what to look for) and I don't think there's anything in her poop itself and it's a normal color. Again, taking her to the vet isn't really an option as only my husband can take her as I'm unable to drive and he doesn't believe she needs to go unless something is very visually obvious or consistently happening. He says her more need for food is just her growing as she's recently turned 1 year.
 

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I'm not sure about the apple, maybe not so much 🤔 on the carrots.. .. ?

Are you weighing her, you can if you have a bathroom scale, it's close enough usually for you to be able to tell if she's losing. Plus you could do this every couple weeks and keep a log, and then you'd have information for you and your husband 😉
 
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daftcat75

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I plan on picking up some fruit from the shop that I've read aids with digestion and is good to give as a treat, such as: Apple, carrot, pumpkin and cucumber. Please correct me if I'm wrong on any of these aiding digestion!
Pumpkin is the only useful one in that batch. You could offer the others for texture, variety, or moisture, but they aren't really doing much. They provide some fiber and that can be helpful in small amounts. There's a powder called Optagest that provides a prebiotic and digestive enzymes if you're worried that he isn't digesting his food well. It's flavor neutral and you can mix it right into his wet food.
 
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BeccaT

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I'm not sure about the apple, maybe not so much 🤔 on the carrots.. .. ?

Are you weighing her, you can if you have a bathroom scale, it's close enough usually for you to be able to tell if she's losing. Plus you could do this every couple weeks and keep a log, and then you'd have information for you and your husband 😉
Yeah we've weighed her recently and she's about 12lbs, more than last time and she feels heavy when we pick her up but she visually does not look fat or overweight. I may try and do this weekly though just to be sure!
Pumpkin is the only useful one in that batch. You could offer the others for texture, variety, or moisture, but they aren't really doing much. They provide some fiber and that can be helpful in small amounts. There's a powder called Optagest that provides a prebiotic and digestive enzymes if you're worried that he isn't digesting his food well. It's flavor neutral and you can mix it right into his wet food.
Thank you for the information, it's a shame as everything but the pumpkin I was able to find at the shop in reasonable amounts as I don't really want to buy a full pumpkin right now. I'll look at that powder though, when we first adopted her, she did have a problem with diarrhea caused by foods not agreeing with her (she's better now in that aspect) and we were prescribed a powder similar to this along with a special food to help her overcome it and also stop her gas. Funnily enough, I have noticed some gas coming from her recently but it's nowhere near as frequent as it was when she had diarrhea. It's not daily but it's more often than she should be having gas I think.
 

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You can try plain pumpkin in a can, just watch for the variety that's already got the spices in it for pie as you wouldn't want that.
 
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